The ghost of Fassbinder~ death day tea salon @ Antebellum Hollywoodreading & performance by george regout
conceived by rick castro based on writings about the life of rainer werner fassbinder.
George Regout is standing in front of antebellum’s black wall.
He is a modern- day ghost of Rainer-Werner-Fassbinder~ wearing his harshest items of rick owens- head to toe.
next to him is a model portraying the modern day ghost of
Gunter Kaufmann/ El Hedi ben Salem.
He is in harness & leather gear~ tied up, blindfolded & gagged.
They both stand in front of a table of guests being served tea.
“Homosexuality, prostitution, and transvestitism. If you present the exotic side, the glamour, then of course they don’t treat these things as taboo, only if you show the societal context. This is the case with all minorities. Earlier, when I was still making films where the representatives of the minorities were good and the others were bad, society really lapped up my films. But when I came up with the much truer idea of showing the minorities the way society has made them, with all their twisted behavior, then suddenly people didn’t like my films anymore.”
I admire the people who resisted me, who stand up to me when everybody seemed willing to go along with me. The people I would have liked to spend my life with … couldn’t take me.”
Through filmmaking, I explored new possibilities for living and defining close connections, realizing self-actualized, bittersweet, and open definitions of family behind the camera while exploring “utopian” ideas in front of the camera…
“From my utopian ideal, from my perfectly concrete yearning for this utopia. If this yearning is driven out of me, I’ll come to a dead stop; that’s why I have this feeling I’m being murdered as a creative person in Germany, and please don’t take that for paranoia. In my opinion, this witch-hunt we’ve been going through, which I think is only the tip of the iceberg, was staged to destroy individuals’ utopias. Also causing my fears and guilt to become overwhelming. When it’s reached the point where my fears are greater than my yearning for something beautiful, I’ll have to put an end to it. Not only to my work, but also to my life..... sure. There’s no reason to exist when you don’t have a goal any more.”
A year before I died: an obese, hard living, chain-smoker slumped over my writing desk with blood from my nose clotted to a script I was working on at the time, I was preparing a film based on a book by Pifigrilli during the German Weimar Republic called, Cocaine. Coincidently, it was at least partially cocaine (daily intakes for decades) that ended my 38 years on this earth (leaving a body of work of over 40 films! with only a scant few failures, I might add.... well it was cocaine and in the end heroic doses of barbiturates (not to mention obesity, chain smoking and making more films than the number of years I lived, which probably didn’t help this body all too much either). Needless to say, cocaine was my true ‘love’ of choice, so it wasn’t a huge surprise that the final film I was planning had that drug as its title.
I am a proud inveterate sadomasochist; gay leather bars, leather jackets, leather boots, military outfits, the works. In fact I lived my life something closer to the life seen in the film “Cruising”. Predominantly an aggressive homosexual~ quasi bi-sexual, since I was married to two women… whom it should be stated I was quite sadistic with. For an example of my outlook on marriage see my film: “Martha”.
I took a lot of chances in my short existence in during my teen years; I was the pimp to a young Udo Kier. I’ll also add here that, personally, I believe nearly all my films were about sadomasochism, and yet they weren’t simple S&M falderal, you didn’t see films full of the usual veneer of S&M: leather, chains, whips, boots and straps. You almost never saw any of those things in my work and yet, the films are clearly and entirely about the psychological and sociological hidden events which involve sadomasochism and exist everywhere in society.
I was showing what sadomasochism looked like, for real, everyday and in everything; not just simple “sex play acting” and “sex games”. There were always those who called me a bastard (and no question, I could be). But I was as much a sadist as masochist. Not one, but two lovers committed suicide, at least partially, due ...so they say.. to sadism.
I was in perpetual torment over the unrequited love for the half African-American, half German actor Gunter Kaufmann. I cast him in nearly every single film I made from my first work to the very last. Which kept me in a near constant state of despair. My relationship with El Hedi ben Salem was even more dramatic, if that was even possible.
Although, those who called me a sadistic son-of-a-bitch bowed down to my genius and vowed utter loyalty to me. I had a cult of actors, artists, musicians and technicians all ready and willing to work with me. This film “Cocaine” I was planning to make was going to be, essentially, a psychedelic labor of love about the drug I loved, used, abused and that eventually ended my life .. This was not going to be some simple, easy trope on cocaine and cocaine use, with easy moral questions and answers. It was certainly not going to be either a ‘pro’ or ‘anti’ drug film and certainly not an exploitation film. This film would display how a daily cocaine user makes the decision to live a heightened, more exhilarating life, while at the same time knowing it will eventually shorten it. I chose to live a shortened life using cocaine, in exchange for giving up depression, the mundanities of life and the utter banality of existence. this choice, for me, was worth it. And as individuals do we not all have the right to make that choice? It was a choice I lived to the hilt.
I am not just a ‘talker’ of things like this, I lived it.
With the film, “Cocaine” I planned to show the ‘freezing of the mind’. It takes place under the influence of cocaine by having the entire film, depict the fogged breath of all the actors, as it would be in freezing climes even while it was warm. I was also going to show ice crystals and frost forming on all the windowpanes, as when it’s freezing outside, even when it’s not. I also gave tribute to the films that were visual cues on this work; films which included the expressionistic work of Visconti’s “The Damned,” and the 14th part of my own magnum opus: “Berlin Alexanderplatz”, who’s final 14th chapter is a heightened and highly expressive externalization of an internal mental crack being experienced by the film’s main character Franz Beiberkopf. During the rise of Hitler, Franz is stuck in a horrid mental asylum, tortured daily while the sounds of Kraftwerk, Leonard Cohen and various krautrock songs play in the background.
Well…. I died, so this movie was not made. The book by Pifigrilli still exists, so one can read and at least gather an idea of what this film might have contained. Though my film would've veer quite away from the main plot of that book. You’ll never know exactly what it would have turned out like, but I can tell you~
it would have been exceptional like my films and my life.